Tag Archives: garmin

Garmin 210 Review

15 Aug

I got the Garmin Forerunner 210 this year from my parents for my birthday. I was going to get the Forerunner 405 but discovered at REI that they no longer made that model. I wasn’t a fan of the square, bulky screen of the 310 and the 610 and 910 were too much watch for me. I just wanted the basics of distance, pace, time and heart rate. So the 210 it was.

I have to admit, the first couple of times I tried out my Garmin, I was kind of disappointed. One of the main things I was looking forward to was knowing what my pace was at any given moment. It didn’t take me long to discover, though, that the pace jumped all over the place – all the way from 7:30 to 13:00 within just a few minutes. Which made me doubt the accuracy of any pace I saw displayed. I lamented this to Travis and he suggested that the Garmin was just too accurate. Well, as much as I’d like to believe I could run a 7:30 pace, let’s be honest – never gonna happen.

Another aspect of the Garmin I didn’t take into account before getting it was that it calculates the distance you actually run (duh). So if you cut a corner a little tighter than normal, ‘Mile 1’ (as previously mapped online) is that much farther away. No longer was Mile 1 simply 1 mile away. Sometimes, it was only .85 mile; other times, 1.15 miles. Of course, I realize my Garmin is more accurate than my mapping routes and corner cuts but still. Getting to what I knew was Mile 1 and not having it be Mile 1 was annoying.

Add to that the fact that I had pretty much every running route I’d ever need mapped out already and I thought long and hard about returning the Garmin. I just didn’t know if it was worth the money (despite the fact that it was a present). But then… I tried setting the Garmin to show my average pace overall, for the entire run. From my first run, I knew that was a setting I could get behind. In fact, that’s what I used during my marathon and I found it really helpful. So I decided to keep the watch.

Plus, I know that just because I have a store of already-mapped-out routes, that doesn’t mean I will never want to just wing it. As far as I can tell, the mileage is accurate and it’s fun to see the ‘playback’ of my workout on Garmin Connect.

The heart rate monitor works well. The watch and strap both fit well. The watch is not waterproof, which is the only drawback besides the too-accurate pace IMO, but I knew about that before I bought it. Oh, and that whole ‘remembering to charge it’ thing – that’s definitely going to take some getting used to.

So is it worth it? I would say overall, yes. Especially for someone just getting into running and wanting to save precious hours of their life by not painstakingly mapping their running routes out online. Or someone who frequently likes to shake things up at the spur of the moment but still wants their distance and pace stats. Or for someone like me who wants the option of switching things up at the spur of the moment, while still knowing exactly how far you ran.

All that said, I fully expect that my satisfaction with the Garmin will only go up from here, the more I use it instead of trusty old MapMyRun.

Just be aware that the “current pace” isn’t as helpful as you might think…

Do you have a Garmin watch? What’s your experience been?

Our Busy Weekend

6 Jun

Some more pics from Saturday’s race (courtesy of my dad):

(Those last 4 are stills from video that my dad took, so that’s why they’re not the best quality. I included them because I actually look like I’m running!)

After the race, we walked around the Taste of Louisville festival for a bit before deciding to redeem the coupon on our race bibs for a free margarita at Old Santa Fe. Travis and I put on flipflops and changed our shirts and we enjoyed al fresco dining. I wasn’t very hungry so I ordered guacamole and chips, which were delicious.

Then we went home, showered, napped/watched TV until we decided to go do some shopping. Our first stop was the auto parts store. Our Focus died a few weeks ago and Travis has been hard at work trying to fix it. Nothing he did seemed to work so he finally gave up and brought it to a mechanic. Turns out that the things Travis had fixed actually had been broken but there was one more piece to the puzzle. It’s a tough part to get in and out (as Travis and my dad discovered first-hand on Sunday) so instead of paying $500 for the mechanic to do the work, Travis decided he and my dad would tackle it together.

Our next stop was Sam’s Club to look at Garmin watches. For my birthday! My parents are SUPER generous and said that they wanted to buy me a Garmin for my birthday (in July). Since they wanted to make sure I got the one I wanted, we picked it out together. Sam’s Club didn’t have any though. 😦

Then it was off to Walmart (I had seen Garmins on their website but they’re not in the store). No luck there. On to Gordman’s, where my mom and I spent a solid 45 minutes deciding which pillows to buy for our new couches (as an anniversary present from my parents – they think of any excuse they can to buy us things 😉 ). We were heading to the register with our final selections when I noticed one of the pillows had a tear. After calling to another store and finding out they had one, we went over there to buy pillow #6 of 6. Depressingly, those pillows didn’t end up working out so we had to return them anyway. But the others worked great!

While at the second Gordman’s store, Travis and my dad went to Home Depot and bought a stand-up, rolling tool chest that Travis had wanted. I told Travis he could buy one since he officially PASSED his Professional Engineer’s exam! Since they took a while doing that, my mom and I wandered around Gordman’s and found some shoes to buy. After my successful purchase last summer of b.o.c. sandals, I decided another pair for $35 (instead of $60) was in order.

Finally, we were on our way home. Unfortunately, I had had a massive headache for the previous hour or so. When we got home, I went straight to bed, only getting up to eat dinner. Not sure why my head hurt but it could be a combination of not drinking enough water, not replacing electrolytes well enough and not taking a nap.


The next morning, I felt better. We went to church and then ate lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, a salad bar place. Travis had talked to our friend that works at REI about Garmins and learned that REI sells them in the store. So after returning the pillows that didn’t work to Gordman’s, we headed downtown to find me a Garmin.

After much hemming and hawing, I decided on the 210. I had previously wanted the 405/410 until I learned that they’re no longer making them (and REI didn’t even have any).

The 210 comes with a heart rate monitor. It tracks all the basics: pace, time, splits, distance. You can view your elevation after uploading your data.

I also looked at the 610 but it was too expensive and I didn’t feel like the extra features were worth $150 to me (though they might to someone else). I decided against the 310 as well. Even though it being waterproof made it appealing, I didn’t feel that made up for the less-than-appealing humongous square display. Plus, it would probably be too big to wear with a wetsuit during a triathlon anyway – so what would be the point?

I think the 210 is really cute.

I took it for my first test “run” last night (I ended up walking most of the 2.5 miles because my legs were so tight/sore!). I really like how it fits and the distance/splits seem accurate but I was a little frustrated with the pace display. Thought I think that’s because it was displaying my average, not current, pace (which would explain a lot). I’ve been too lazy to actually get out the manual and figure out how to work the thing so I can’t really make a judgment until I do that.

In addition to the Garmin, my mom bought me a shirt to wear for the marathon.

The last picture is loading weird, but the lines are actually horizontal on the shirt.

The shirt is REI brand and is actually designed for backpacking, so I can get double use out of it. It’s 90% Polyester, 10% spandex so it’s very stretchy and is wrinkle-resistant. I also LOVE that fabric “texture” and figure that I can probably get away with teal + pink for the race. I’m going to test the shirt out on my 12 mile long run this weekend.

Post-REI, we headed home so that Travis and my dad could work on fixing the Focus. While they did that, my mom and I shopped for and hung a picture collage in the living room. When we got new couches, the arrangement of our living room changed quite a bit so the pictures had to be moved around. This is what we came up with:

One of the frames we bought (that will go in the middle on the left) didn’t have a wall-hanger so I have to work on that still – as well as putting pictures in some of the frames.

The canvases on the right need to be put in black frames and then they’ll be hung up above the loveseat.

The car and picture projects lasted until about 8:30, when we finally grilled up some elk burgers. Around 11, we went to bed and my parents (sadly) left the next morning to fly back to Minnesota. It was a short but sweet trip! Thanks Mom and Dad for your overwhelming generosity with everything. We are very blessed by you.

Happy National Running Day!